Kevin Armstrong is a guitarist, producer and songwriter who has worked with a huge range of artists and gained wide experience in every genre of popular music. He first made his reputation in his own critically acclaimed band Local Heroes SW9, which made two albums for Charlie Gillettâ€™s Oval label in 1980 and 1981.
Kevin then joined Thomas Dolby and played guitars on The Golden Age Of Wireless and The Flat Earth LPs as well as touring live with Thomas as part of his band. After a brief spell with another self-led band Bush Telegraph who signed with EMI in 1983 and toured Europe with Aswad, Kevin joined Prefab Sprout for the Steve McQueen album and tour and then was asked to play on some demos with David Bowie at Abbey Road studios.
This led on to a ten year working relationship with Bowie. It started with the recording of songs for the Julien Temple movie Absolute Beginners and went on to include being musical director & guitarist for Bowieâ€™s Live Aid Â band. Kevin also MDâ€™d the recording of Dancing in the Street with Bowie and Mick Jagger.
He played guitar on Iggy Popâ€™s Blah Blah Blah LP and later, after two years touring the world as Iggy Popâ€™s bandleader, recorded the first Tin Machine album and played on the first tour. Kevin co-wrote the song Run for the Tin Machine album and co-wrote the title track of Bowieâ€™s Outside LP produced by Brian Eno.
Kevin was musical director for a world tour with Feargal Sharkey at the height of his success in 1985. During the late 80s Kevin was the guitarist in the house band led by Steve Nieve on the live broadcasts of Jonathan Rossâ€™ first chat show for Channel 4 where he got to play with guests such as Tom Jones, Roy Orbison and Paul McCartney. Kevin went on to do studio work with McCartney and Elvis Costello on the Flowers In The Dirt LP at Maccaâ€™s Hog Hill Mill studio.
Kevin was then asked by producer Clive Langer to contribute songs and play guitar on a project with Morrissey, which resulted in the Bona Drag LP. Kevin co-wrote the songs Piccadilly Palare and He Knows Iâ€™d Love To See Him for this record.
After establishing Laylow studios in Londonâ€™s Portobello Road, Kevin started a production career which led to four albums by explosive Nigerian funkster Keziah Jones, whose debut album topped the French charts.
He went on to produce albums for Ashley Maher for Virgin, Brigid Boden for A&M America and Anton Walgrave for EMI Belgium as well as contributions, whether as guitarist, programmer or engineer, to sessions by an enormous array of talent that passed through Laylow from Chaka Khan and Ike Turner to Youssou Nâ€™Dour and Peter Gabriel, Ronnie Jordan, Sandie Shaw, Eternal, Carleen Anderson, Tackhead, Junior Marvin and many others.Â Kevin toured Japan with legendary English Folk rocker Kevin Ayers, and co-wrote Inside Out for Massive Attack singer Shara Nelsonâ€™s first album.
In the early noughties Kevin began to move into the world of television composition and undertook production of soundalike tracks for three series of Fame Academy for the BBC and produced work on the attendant albums with winner Alex Parks and others. Kevin produced all the ambient music for Tescoâ€™s in-store channel for four years and has composed TV themes and commercials throughout this decade.
In 2007 he toured the world as guitarist with SinĂ©ad Oâ€™Connor and on returning played on several projects for producer John Reynolds including a solo LP by Andrea Corr and songs by Paul Brady and Moya Brennan/Shane MacGowan.
Kevin is a member of Brian Enoâ€™sÂ Elgins singing group and has played on the soundtrack of the Peter Jackson movie Lovely Bones with Eno.
He performed at the Wainwrights Christmas concert 2009 at the Albert Hall and is still a regular member of Sarah Jane Morrisâ€™ band which plays throughout the year in Italian theatres and festivals. Kevin continues to write, play and produce at his London studio and around the world.